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Arts & Culture

Only Here Podcast: Broadcasting The Voices Of Deportees And 'Dreamers'

Volunteers work on the Playas de Tijuana Mural Project in this photo taken October 16, 2019.
Volunteers work on the Playas de Tijuana Mural Project in this photo taken October 16, 2019.
In a new episode of KPBS' border podcast "Only Here," we continue our series on border art with a mural that's broadcasting the voices of deportees and those commonly known as DREAMers, children brought to the U.S. illegally as children. From heart-wrenching stories about parents being deported and separated from their kids to first-hand accounts of what it’s like to start a new life in a new country, the mural painted on the actual border fence uses technology to share stories of deportation and struggle. You can hear the stories when you walk up to the mural in Playas de Tijuana. It's painted on the actual border fence, and you can use your phone to scan black-and-white QR codes printed on little stickers stuck to the mural. Scanning the stickers takes you to YouTube videos. The stories you'll hear in the videos are from two digital storytelling archives: Humanizing Deportation: http://humanizandoladeportacion.ucdavis.edu/en/ Dacamented: https://dacamentedarchive.com/ The Playas de Tijuana Mural Project is by artist, scholar and activist Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana. More about the project here: https://lizbethdelacruzsantana.com/mural-project About the Show: “Only Here” is about the unexplored subcultures, creativity and struggles at the U.S.-Mexico border. The KPBS podcast tells personal stories from people whose lives are shaped by the tension reverberating around the wall. This is a show for border babies, urban explorers or those who wonder what happens when two cultures are both separated and intertwined. Who we are: Hosted by Alan Lilienthal Produced by Kinsee Morlan Sound design by Emily Jankowski Follow Us: https://www.facebook.com/onlyherepodcast/ https://www.instagram.com/onlyherepodcast/ Support Us: https://www.kpbs.org/donate Give us Feedback: 619-452-0228‬ podcasts@kpbs.org Photo: A picture of the mural by Alan Lilienthal.

Art and storytelling can build empathy.

That's the basic premise behind Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana's mural painted on the border fence in Playas de Tijuana.

From stories about parents being deported and separated from their kids to first-hand accounts of what it’s like to start a new life in a new country all alone, the mural painted on the border fence uses art and technology to broadcast the voices of deportees and those commonly known as "Dreamers," children brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana stands in front of her Playas de Tijuana Mural Project in this photo taken Oct. 16, 2019.
Alan Lilienthal
Lizbeth De La Cruz Santana stands in front of her Playas de Tijuana Mural Project in this photo taken Oct. 16, 2019.

The mural includes black-and-white QR codes printed on square stickers stuck to the border fence. Scanning the stickers with a smartphone takes people to YouTube videos, many show people describing what it was like to be deported and what their lives are like now. The stories were gathered as part of two digital storytelling archives, Humanizing Deportation and DACAmented.

In this week's episode of KPBS' border podcast "Only Here," we continue our series on border art by sharing some of the deportation stories and learning more about Santana's project, which includes raising money to help separated families be reunited through meetings at the border fence.